New York Sweeps Top American in Horizontal Jumps, Top Overall In Epic Long Jump Duel

A Duel In The Sun

Rarely do US #1 and US #2 meet in an event this early in the season.  But for the top Long Jumpers in the country this year (and almost any year that have come before it), Penn Relays was the stage set for their first matchup ever.  Grant Holloway of VA was an all-around athlete, going US #2 All-Time in the Indoor Pent at NBON, holding numerous Top 5 performances in the Hurdles, 55m, and more.  His National leading jump of 25-11.5 looked untouchable indoors.

Then along came Rayvon Grey of NY.  He launched right past Holloway's mark at NBIN, hitting the rarefied 26-0.25 mark.  He became one of only four athletes over the 26ft barrier, and set himself up as the favorite for any meet the rest of his HS career.

But what is competition if it is not head-to-head.  Penn Relays set to change that, with both entered against each other for the first time.  Holloway took the early lead on his first jump, with Grey just below on his first, and fouling on his second.  Like NBIN, it was his third jump of the prelims that set him over the edge, grabbing 25-2.5 to take the lead.  Into the finals, Holloway was unable to answer, despite fouling a strong jump on his final attempt.  To seal the title, Rayvon matched his best jump on his fifth attempt, winning again at the same mark.

The wind-legal mark is only an inch shy of Bob Beamon's state record, set in 1965.  Anyone educated in Track and Field History would know that Beamon went on to be the World's Greatest Jumper, hitting a world record 29-2.5 later in his career, without the advancements in track surfaces and training many athletes have today.  Not bad company for the senior from Beacon.

First in Fifth

Nearly half of the triple jump field came from out of the country.  For the American's, whose season is only starting to warm up, it was hard to compare.  But McQuaid's Tobi Tella did his best, taking fifth overall, and top American to boot.   Tella took second at both his State Qualifiers Indoors, but did not jump at the State Meet.  At Penn, he overtook Indoor State Record Holder Ronel Forde.  Tella's winning mark was just two inches north of the next American, which still earns him the Championship of America Gold Watch.